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Autistic Adults Online

An ESRC-funded project investigating how autistic adults use social media to build and maintain relationships.

The aim of the study is to examine how autistic adults use social networking sites to maintain existing social relationships or create new ones. Understanding how autistic individuals use language, images, as well as different technological tools to communicate in social media is important for the design of environments that are inclusive of autistic user abilities and preferences. The study will help inform initiatives that use digital networking technologies to improve the quality of life of autistic adults.

The project runs from December 2020 to December 2022.

To learn more about how autistic adults use and experience social media, you can read personal experiences on our blog page.

Blogs: Experiences of Autistic Adults Online

  • Flo
    Growing up, I’d always compared myself to my friends. As a child, I was painfully aware of the differences between myself and my classmates – socially, I struggled to make friends, but academically I was performing well above my age group. I preferred reading about archaeology in a quiet corner of the classroom instead of playing make-believe games in the playground.
  • castlering
    There’s a concept of oversharing that us autistics are apparently renowned for; we have a reputation for not just talking about something, but going to the nth degree, regardless of whether or not the listener is interested. What is interesting though is how so many NTs* do just that on Facebook.
  • David
    My use of Twitter is tied to what some people may call my special interest, and that is taking actions, such as sending emails and signing petitions, relating to animal welfare, the environment and people.